Lloyd's Op-Eds

Times Union - May 15

May 15, 2016

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"Candidate familiarity will surely breed voter contempt"

Given the trajectory of the presidential primary races preceding New York's ballot April 19 and the results of the six primaries April 26 and May 3, it is clear that for once New York's vote was pivotal and likely decisive for both parties.

Prior to New York, Bernie Sanders had won eight of the nine immediately previous contests and Ted Cruz had significantly eroded Donald Trump's delegate lead through outright primary victories in state delegation fights. New York stopped the Cruz ascent and paved the way for six additional Trump wins, driving Cruz and John Kasich from the Republican race. In the Democratic contest, Sanders gamely battles on, but New York all but obliterated his path to nomination. (more…)

Times Union - April 16

April 16, 2016

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"Obama's court choice shows he still lacks jugular instinct"

President's court choice shows he still lacks jugular instinct

President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court and fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia. This pick shows one thing the president has learned from more than seven years of Republican obstructionism, and, sadly, what he hasn't. (more…)

Times Union - February 20

February 20, 2016

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"Offer praise judiciously"

Consider Justice Antonin Scalia's biases and opinions before honoring jurist

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raises the distinct possibility, bordering on certainty, that his admirers soon will propose honoring the conservative legal icon by naming a courthouse or other legal structure or institution in his memory.

It is debatable whether names like Woodrow Wilson's should be removed from Princeton University structures today, because of his racist yet mainstream policies a century ago. But it would clearly be unwise to honor the memory of the late Scalia with any object or institution intended to last longer than a weekend. (more…)

Times Union - July 19

July 19, 2014

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"Having it both ways"

Clinton has a tendency to want all sides of an issue to work in her favor

Recently resurrected controversy over Hillary Clinton's 1975 legal defense of a rape suspect is but one volley of distant thunder that will steadily intensify and dominate the debate through Election Day 2016 if she runs for president, as expected. (more…)

Times Union - May 17

May 17, 2014

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"Commentary: Redefining separation of church and state"

High court rules Monroe County town can start meetings with prayer

A sharply divided Supreme Court (5-4) recently decided that the New York town of Greece could continue its practice of beginning monthly public town board meetings with pervasively Christian prayer.

The majority and dissenting opinions included personal invective among the "brethren," creating tension only slightly relieved by the absurd concurring opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas. He sided with the majority but separately wrote that New York, and any state, could constitutionally establish an official religion but the United States was "probably" prohibited from doing that. (more…)

Times Union - May 10

May 10, 2014

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"Shrinking the right to privacy"

Your privacy, and the expectation that it is secure, took a massive hit April 29. It came from state and federal prosecutors arguing Riley v. California before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the Riley case, California's solicitor general and a deputy U.S. solicitor general argued that, when someone is arrested, even for a minor offense like failing to buckle up, the police must be free to search, without warrant, through the entire contents of a smartphone, tablet or laptop in the pocket, backpack, briefcase or vehicle of the suspect. (more…)

Times Union - February 22

February 22, 2014

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"A bigger Comcast isn't better for consumers"

Proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable will change the competitive landscape

The moment Comcast, the nation's biggest cable company, announced it would buy Time Warner Cable, the second largest, an army of lawyers and PR operatives fanned out to tell cable subscribers how great this deal will be for them. (more…)

Times Union - January 18

January 18, 2014

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"Scandals along the Hudson"

Both Chris Christie and Eliot Spitzer signaled political opponents were enemies to be punished

While the nation follows the unfolding Chris Christie scandal, one group —the executive staff that served former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer — is watching with heightened attention and insight. Sad, nostalgic emails are cascading through cyberspace debating the stark parallels and contrasts with "Troopergate," the scandal that burdened Spitzer from the day it exploded in July 2007 until March 2008 when his patronage of prostitutes caused him to resign. (more…)

Times Union - September 21

September 21, 2013

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"Commentary: Timing is everything, even in elections"

Looking to make a political comeback, Eliot Spitzer chose the wrong race and the wrong time

On Sept. 10, Eliot Spitzer, one of the most powerful state attorney generals in memory, whose name once frequently came up when talk turned to potential presidents, lost the Democratic primary for New York City comptroller to Scott Stringer, a Manhattan borough president so undistinguished that I, a lifelong resident of Manhattan, cannot associate it with any achievement or failure or indeed anything at all. (more…)

Times Union - August 3

August 9, 2013

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"How rich is too rich?"

America's economic divide grows at an alarming pace

The advice that "you can never be too rich or too thin" attributed to Wallis Warfield Simpson, the late Duchess of Windsor, for whose love King Edward VIII gave up his throne, seems to resonate with some very wealthy cultural and educational institutions, even and especially at a time when lots of American are finding it hard to just get by. (more…)

Times Union - July 19

July 19, 2013

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"Voters need to return fire against NRA"

I am neither happy nor proud that my predictions and desires made in this newspaper on June 7, 2012, about the outcome of the prosecution of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin were substantially realized.

In my commentary, "Stand your ground needs to go," I argued that a prosecutor and jury could not bring Trayvon back, Zimmerman was no longer a threat to anyone other possibly than himself, but the tragic case presented Florida and the nation with an opportunity to remove a mass killer from our midst. The public menace is comprised of recklessly permissive gun and "Stand Your Ground" laws that encourage people to pack, provoke, engage and shoot. That in truth is what Zimmerman did and was within his legal rights to do in the Dodge City theme park that Florida has become. (more…)

Times Union - June 22

June 22, 2013

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"For gays, justice awaits"

Supreme Court appears ready to lift bans on same-sex marriage

The Supreme Court is on the verge of ruling on challenges to the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2008. Both laws target gays and same-sex marriages. DOMA treats as nullities lawful marriages performed in New York and a steadily increasing number of states, for the roughly 1,100 ways that marital status is crucial in the application of federal law. (more…)

Times Union - May 25

May 25, 2013

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"Talk about a nonstory; Obama isn't Nixonian"

The president needs to do a better job refuting such scandalous comparisons

The momentary elation of commenting on the story du jour, that President Barack Obama was starting to be perceived like former President Richard Nixon, is quickly overwhelmed by the depressing realization that the premise is baseless but nevertheless has legs.

This is an opportunity for the increasingly lazy press to waste a month spinning the analogy rather than reporting important news. Moreover, the disloyal opposition in Congress would seize this latest excuse to obstruct the progress of our nation rather than participate in its governance. (more…)

Times Union - May 13

May 13, 2013

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"Another Obama warms up"

The Vogue cover for last month was a photograph of our imposing first lady, flanked by a story teaser "Michelle Obama: How the First Lady and the President Are Inspiring America." We inhabit the United States in the era of co-presidencies — ushered in by Bill and Hillary, then George W. and Dick (some would reverse that order) and now Barack and Michelle, who was proclaimed by a 2009 Vogue cover "The First Lady the World's Been Waiting For." (more…)

Times Union - April 18

April 18, 2013

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"Britain appreciates our pain"

An ill wind blew from JFK to Heathrow Airport on Monday, as we started hearing about the Boston Marathon atrocities, while still on the tarmac in London. The flight gave me and other American passengers too much time to speculate and relive the horrors of 9/11 that began with other Americans boarding flights from Boston. (more…)

Times Union - March 30

March 30, 2013

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"Commentary: First the father, now the son"

Rand Paul is a slicker, more sophisticated but just as dangerous version of Ron Paul

Ready or not, here comes Rand Paul, the theatrical senator from Kentucky who has entered the 2016 presidential contest in two acts. That guarantees a Dr. Paul among the aspirants for the fourth time.

Senator Paul's first act was his filibuster, momentarily blocking the confirmation of John Brennan as director of the CIA. According to Rand, that protected us from being assassinated on American soil from a drone strike ordered by President Barack Obama. (more…)

Times Union - February 25

February 25, 2013

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"Assault on the Constitution"

Gun control advocates need to respect what the Second Amendment actually says

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

That is what the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says. (more…)

Times Union - January 11

January 11, 2013

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"News, not blather"

Arab TV network has the right to attract U.S. viewers

If you are in the satire or irony businesses, the announcement that Al Gore's Current TV network is being sold to Al Jazeera and converted into "Al Jazeera America" is almost too good to be true.

The new network already derisively dubbed "Al Gorezeera" by the pundits will result in the Nobel Peace laureate and former vice president pocketing some $100 million as his share of the total $500 million shelled out by the Emir of Qatar (pronounced "gutter") who owns Al Jazeera, a cable network that has operated in the United States for many years without gaining carriage on any major U.S. cable providers. (more…)

Times Union - December 8

December 8, 2012

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"Credit where it isn't due"

The truth behind the gimmickry of 'Small Business Saturday'

A story on the front page of the Times Union on Sunday, Nov. 25, had the headline "Stores' strategies for getting a grip on your green." It provided shoppers with vital information about retail marketing practices on the day after "Small Business Saturday," an invention of the fertile minds at American Express. This newest marketing day, sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, needs some explanation. An appropriate headline might be: "American Express' strategy for getting a grip on your and the stores' green." (more…)

Times Union - October 7

October 7, 2012

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"All the wrong lessons"

What have we learned that's constructive about gun violence?

It's been four months since the shooting death of Gary Cota, a 13-year-old living in Fort Edward, was front-page news in the Times Union. The June 7 article carried the ironic headline, "From death, lesson for life."

If only there were any such lesson. None has been reported or even hinted at. (more…)

Times Union - September 21

September 21, 2012

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"Quality to the core"

There's a reason why Apple continues its success

On Aug. 20, Apple was reported the "most valuable" company ever, as measured by its market capitalization of roughly $619 billion, calculated by multiplying the number of Apple shares by the price they were trading at. Four days later, a California jury found for Apple in its patent case against Samsung, where the Silicon Valley firm has claimed that the Korean copycat conglomerate infringed numerous Apple patents in the design of Samsung's smartphones and tablets. (more…)

Times Union - August 12

August 12, 2012

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"More of the same from Cuomo"

Governor's secrecy reflects his tenure as attorney general

The public is learning more about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's iron-fisted control of information concerning his performance in public office. This unfolding awareness began with investigative work by this newspaper. Later, other news organizations, notably The New York Times, awakened and their editorial boards became alarmed about the practice of governing without a trace in the present and seeking to redact and erase the past in an Orwellian fashion. (more…)

Times Union - July 7

July 7, 2012

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"Roberts seizes the moment"

Chief Justice earns the title with his decision on Obamacare

With most titles of great power and authority, such as President, Queen, or in this case, Chief Justice, two things have to happen before the position is fully owned and deserved. The person must be elected, appointed or as is often the case with royalty, just be born. Then comes earning the position and the moral authority that goes with it. (more…)

Times Union - June 6

June 6, 2012

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"'Stand your ground' needs to go"

The parents of Trayvon Martin, the teenager shot dead in Sanford, Fla., the night of Feb. 26 by George Zimmerman, a gated community "watch volunteer," were dignified and clear about what they demanded from Florida's system of criminal justice. All they asked for was an arrest and that justice be done. (more…)

Times Union - May 19

May 19, 2012

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"A new Cuomo, an old stunt"

Governor's deal with the GOP is right out of the family playbook

I've seen this movie before ... there's like a whole little deja vu going on for me," Gov. Andrew Cuomo quipped last month when asked by reporters whether he would run for president in 2016 — invoking the memory of constant speculation about Mario Cuomo's presidential ambitions during his three terms as governor. (more…)

Times Union - April 30

April 30, 2012

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"Watch out for Kennedy"

A crucial vote in the Obamacare case betrays an unsettling view of liberty

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing earlier this month for a sharply divided 5-4 majority, explained why strip-searching people arrested for allegedly committing minor, nonviolent infractions, does not violate their Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches. Alleged infractions, that is, which include a noisy muffler, an inoperable headlight and an unleashed dog. (more…)

Times Union - March 31

March 31, 2012

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"America is better than that"

Why can't iPads and similar gadgets be made here, not in China?

For a moment last month, many momentous troubles and triumphs seemed to recede and our focus shifted to Apple CEO Tim Cook as he took to a San Francisco stage to introduce the newest iPad tablet computer. These periodic unveilings are highly choreographed performances, perfected by Cook's predecessor, the late Steve Jobs. (more…)

Times Union - March 10

March 10, 2012

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"The sins of our politics"

From Carter to Santorum, disdain for what America represents

When it comes to divisive and mean-spirited injection of religion into American politics, things have reached a new low — at least from the vantage point of an observer who has watched every presidential election since Eisenhower vs. Stevenson in 1952.

The lowest point in this Death Valley was reached late last month when Rick Santorum, the darling of evangelicals and social conservatives, told us that John F. Kennedy's landmark 1960 speech about his commitment to honor the Constitution's separation of church and state made him "want to throw up." (more…)

Times Union - February 4

February 4, 2012

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"A loser at Aqueduct"

Cuomo looks to wrong place for a convention center

In every governor's State of the State address, there must be one idea, one project, that stands above all. The one that the public and press will remember when comparing the governor and his "vision thing" with what actually was accomplished.

Let the Chronicles of Planet New York forever reflect that on Jan. 4, 2012, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared that the state's most vital need was to build the nation's largest convention center in Ozone Park, Queens, on the site of Aqueduct Racetrack. (more…)

Regular contributor to the Sunday "Perspectives" (Editorial) section of Hearst's Albany Times Union with op-eds on government, law and public policy. Read and comment at timesunion.com and on this website. "The Weekender" social commentary column appears on ccSCOOP.com, Columbia County's Home on the Web, and past columns are archived on this website under the Op-Ed button.
A book about the ground-breaking case that shook the business and legal worlds to their very cores, New York-based law firm Constantine & Partners sought to end a devastating credit monopoly that personally touched millions of consumers. Its efforts culminated in the largest federal antitrust settlement in U.S. history.
Journal of the Plague Year
The March 10, 2008 disclosure that Governor Eliot Spitzer patronized prostitutes shocked admirers around the world who had celebrated him as the "Sheriff of Wall Street" and a likely future president.  Ironically, the author's disillusionment with Spitzer had begun to disappear 15 hours earlier, when Spitzer confessed to him what others would soon learn in a media storm of unprecedented intensity.  Journal of the Plague Year is Constantine's intimate account of the 17 calamitous months preceding the March 2008 revelation and the futile 61 hour battle waged by the author and the governor's wife to persuade Spitzer not to resign, but to instead fulfill promises made to the voters who had elected him in a record landslide.

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